City to tax recreational marijuana at 3%

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — The city will begin to tax 3% on recreational marijuana starting Jan. 1. This is the maximum amount the city can tax, based on state law.

The ordinance was unanimously passed at Monday night’s city council meeting.

State law allows for the city to tax sales of recreational marijuana up to 3%.

Fifth Ward Alderperson Scott McAdams said he’d be open to reviewing the tax rate in six months to a year because his personal goal for the city is to capture as much money as possible from recreational and medical marijuana sales.

In September, the DeKalb County Board approved an additional tax of 0.75% on cannabis sales within municipalities. The 0.75% would go directly to the DeKalb County, Nicklas said.

“Almost every other municipality that’s approved has gone up to 3% no matter what their county taxes have been set at so I think that there is no competitive advantage,” Second Ward Alderperson Bill Finucane said.

Council members also approved a Chicago-based medical marijuana dispensary, BQ Enterprises, to set up shop at 700 Peace Road. BQ Enterprises does not plan to sell recreational marijuana when it opens, according to city zoning documents.

City staff recommended a one year time limit for the company to obtain a state-issued license and an additional six months after the issuance of a state license to complete the build-out of the tenant space, according to the Nov. 25 agenda.

In March 2017, the dispensary was approved to set up a business, but couldn’t after failing to get a state license because Illinois wasn’t issuing them to DeKalb County at the time, according to Oct. 23 Planning and Zoning Commission agenda.